Speaking following the announcement that the Scottish Government has granted outline planning permission for the application by Trump International Golf Links Scotland to develop a golf resort at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Jonny Hughes, Head of Policy at the Scottish Wildlife Trust said:
â€œThe Scottish Wildlife Trust is extremely disappointed about this decision. We have stood alongside RSPB as well as the Scottish Governmentâ€™s own conservation advisors (Scottish Natural Heritage) and the many concerned members of the local community in demanding that the Government assesses the development not only on its economic merits, but also on the considerable detrimental environmental impacts. This is a huge blow for the environment and sustainable development. The crazy thing is that there could easily have been both golf and environmental protection at Menie. Instead, Government Ministers have failed to deliver the sustainable part of their professed central purpose of â€˜sustainable economic growthâ€™. This decision will mean needless destruction to a unique and nationally important site.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust is now seeking clarification on the position and value of designated protected areas, as despite the site being of SSSI status this failed to prevent unsuitable development taking place on a habitat of conservation importance. We awaitÂ a copy of planning approval conditions and to find out if theÂ Government has made any concessions to the environment as part of these.â€œ
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1.Â Jonny Hughes, Head of Policy, SWT is available for interview on request.
2.Â To view the announcement made by the Scottish Government visit: www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2008/11/03123709
3.Â For more information on SWTâ€™s campaign against the proposed golf development at Balmeddie visit: www.swt.org.uk/Trump-Development/
4.Â SWT is the largest voluntary body working for all the wildlife of Scotland, representing more than 31,000 members who care for wildlife and the environment. SWT seeks to raise public awareness of threatened habitats and species and manages over 120 reserves Scotland-wide.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Clara Govier, Communications Manager, SWT
Tel: 0131 312 4747 (07795 241088)